Thursday, 27 September 2007

Second Life goes on strike


I had an email from Isabella yesterday to ask for some SL screen shots. She was talking to some people at her place of work. And at the same time the following news item came through from HR Magazine:

The first ever cyber picket line kicked off today in virtual reality world Second Life. Italian IBM workers, angry at their employer's decision to slash bonuses worth up to 1,000 Euros, are protesting in Second Life, representing the next step in the real-life ongoing battle against the IBM bosses. Workers are expecting to garner support from fellow IBM employees around the world, including the UK and India. Many unions are also showing their support, with TUC demonstrating alongside the employees."

It raises an interesting question. So far we have talked about people talking about your business in Social Media and using social media proactively. But little aout how social media can be used as an actual venue for work actions to occur.



Monday, 10 September 2007

Blame the equipment

NORTHERN LINE -- Have you ever noticed how, when you hit a bad golf shot, you blame the club selection? Do you remember David Beckham saying the pitch was at fault when he skied a ball into the crowd on a Euro free kick a few years ago?

Yea. I'm not sure I believe it either.

So why is it that we often do the same? Why is it that we communicators blame our inability to do things on "circumstances beyond our control"?

My granny used to say "where there's a will, there's a way." Bless her.

Social media brings this situation to the fore. Can we really not do this? Are we not allowed? Is the IT department really immovable?

Not sure.


Sunday, 24 June 2007

Social Media and organisational culture

LONDON -- As I type up the notes this weekend, there are a few things that strike me as worth a further, longer conversation.

One in particular is the need to change organisational culture to do this stuff right.

Many of your on the course last week seemed caught up with that. The interesting thing was that some of you seemed to be leaving saying:

"Right. I am off to change the company culture. That way this stuff is sure to succeed."

While others were thinking:

"There's no way our company will change. Better people than me have tried and failed. I had better scale down my ambitions, and try to win friends one at a time."

And I can relate to both.

What worried me is the chance that both sets of people will end up disappointed.

Organisational culture, as a concept, is enough to set the most soft-hearted executive against you. Most people in business tend to find the idea of a company having a culture quite frightening. And on many days I kind of agree with them.

So, how can you talk about it -- and do it -- without alienating people?

Talk about "the way we do things around here."

There are many different ways of looking at company culture. We use an 8-dimensional model. (No, seriously, we do.) But as you are starting out why not focus on three simple things:

1) Your media -- the channels you manage. How can they mirror (not direct) the culture change that you want to achieve?

2) Processes -- the systems and infrastructure that your company uses. One example a colleague brought to the session was the fact that all the social media sites are blocked at their workplace. That's a big message passed on to employees by a system or process. What others do we have?

3) Leadership -- these are the most important 'culture makers'. Not just the CEO, but line managers and mid-level execs. Heck, even the guys and girls in the post-room or the smoking hut. How can they start to do things that show changes to "the way we do things around here"?

Worth a thought.

What do you think?


Saturday, 23 June 2007

In the shadow of our workshop

LONDON -- It's early Saturday morning and there has been little activity on the wiki that we set up.

I wondered about that for about a day. And then I realised that the settings were wrong. So try again and see if you can add and subtract ideas. Com'on. Do it!

There was a lot to cover in the two days. I felt like we almost got to all of it.

  • The business case
  • Social media for external and internal comms
  • Social networking sites (including your favourite Second Life)
  • IM (including Twitter)
  • Blogs
  • Podcasts
  • Vblogs (looking good Lee Hopkins)
  • Online video
  • Wikis
  • Adding Social Media to you business strategy

What did you think?

How have the conversations been going back home?